Fishing Bunsby Islands, BC; What you need to know | Kayak Angler Magazine | Rapid Media
Get away from the real world; still follow the rules. Rob Lyon

After reaching Rob Lyon's travelog from Bunsby Island, British Columbia, ( check out these guidelines for a safe and productive trip.


Some people have asked whether it’s even legal to fish and camp in the Bunsby Islands. The answer is many layered and my understanding is this. While the over-arcing Checleset Bay Ecological Reserve surrounds the Bunsby Islands and excludes both camping and fishing, the Reserve excludes the Bunsby Islands as a result of the Treaty Settlement of the Ka:'yu:'k't'h'/Chek'tles7et'h' First Nations.

Big Bunsby Marine Provincial Park was established to take recreational pressure off the Reserve itself as well as the other islands in the chain and to create a base of operations for sea kayakers to explore Checleset Bay.

My friends and I have been paddling Kyuquot Sound and Checleset Bay since before the Ecological Reserve was established in 1992. If we wanted to camp anywhere in the Bunsbys the protocol then, as it is now, was to check in ahead of time with the band office in Kyuquot for permission to camp on First Nations territory and they were always gracious in welcoming us.

Kayakers today are encouraged to camp on Big Bunsby. It is a big island (over 650ha), completely undeveloped and has quality fishing surround. But, should you decide you might want to camp and/or fish anywhere else in the Bunsby chain you should contact the Ka:'yu:'k't'h'/Chek'tles7et'h' First Nations (KCFN) Admin Office ahead of time, for permission and details on your options. There are several islands in the chain that are off limits and ignorance is no excuse: 250-332-5259.

Fish are plentiful throughout the area—be informed of the regulations to best take advantage of it. Because of the large area in fishery conservation, you’ll want to take a map along with you. From the link to the Reserve map below, you can see how it is. The waters surrounding Big Bunsby Island including both of the inlets to the north and south, are open. That is a ton of water and you will definitely find fish.

Fringe seasons are always less busy. Try September, even into October. Licences are available on line, eh?


Checleset Bay ecological Reserve:

Big Bunsby Marine Provinical Park:

Rockfish Conservation Area:

Rugged Point Lodge Water Taxi: A word on these guys. Kristy grew up in Kyuquot and she and her husband Matt built the lodge in 2011. While it largely serves a sport fishing clientele, Kristy is happy to send the water taxi off on missions like hauling my buddy and I around to remote beaches that would ordinarily take a week’s worth of paddling. Highly recommended:

Kyuquot First Nations Admin Office: 250-332-5259

BC Saltwater Fishing Licences:

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